Gothmog (Sindarin IPA: [ˈɡoθmoɡ]) was the Lord of Balrogs during the First Age and was the greatest Balrog ever to walk Middle-earth. He was the High Captain of Angband, one of Morgoth's most trusted generals, leading the Dark Lord's forces to victory in countless Battles. His only equal in rank was Sauron. Gothmog, like the rest of his kind, carried a fiery whip into battle, but he was also known to have wielded a great black axe, which was feared by elves across the continent of Beleriand.
Gothmog was perhaps most infamous for slaying Fëanor, the High King of the Ñoldor himself, in the Dagor-nuin-Giliath (Battle-under-Stars) in the opening days of the First Age. The Lord of Balrogs reappeared as a general of Angband in several more major conflicts, including the Dagor Aglareb (The Glorious Battle) and the Nirnaeth Arnoediad (Battle of Unnumbered Tears). It is noteworthy that while locked in single combat against Fingon near the climax of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, Gothmog was unable to overcome the High King until another Balrog came up behind Fingon and "cast a throng of steel about him," after which Gothmog slew the High King. He also captured Húrin, father of Túrin Turambar at the end of the Arnoediad.
As his forces laid siege to Turgon's Hidden City of Gondolin, Gothmog himself set foot inside the city's walls. There, he was confronted by Ecthelion of the Fountain, and the two fought a duel to the death. Knocking Ecthelion's sword out of his hands, Gothmog prepared to strike at him but, as he raised his axe, Ecthelion ran forward at the Balrog lord, ramming his pointed helmet into the beast's chest and forcing both of them into the Fountain of the King. The waters quenched the flames of Gothmog that kept him alive and drowned Ecthelion, ending the Battle of Gondolin.
EtymologyEditSindarin means "Strife and Hate".
- The Silmarillion: Quenta Silmarillion
- The Children of Húrin: The Battle of Unnumbered Tears
- The Book of Lost Tales 2